Tenet

Tenet

Dear Cinephiles, “What happened, happened. It’s an expression of faith in the mechanics of the world. It’s not an excuse for doing nothing.”   Kudos to Christopher Nolan for being adamant about having his film “Tenet” (2020) get a theatrical release — and...
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Dear Cinephiles, “What’s wrong dude?! Ain’t you never seen a sunset?!“ One of the things I’ve missed the most since our imposed hibernation of the past year set in has been visiting New York City. Because of business relating to the festival and my involvement on the...
The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

Dear Cinephiles, “And then the good Lord went on to say, ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.’” What is it about serial killer movies that has...
Paddington

Paddington

Greetings, SBIFF Family! All aboard! We’re catching a train to London for this week’s Family Fun Film, “Paddington”! After an earthquake destroys his home in the Peruvian rainforest, a young bear makes his way to England in search of a new home. Paddington finds...
Scarface

Scarface

Dear Cinephiles, “Okay, here’s the Story. I come from the gutter. I know that. I got no education, but that’s okay. I know the street, and I’m making all the right connections. With the right woman, there’s no stopping. I could go right to the top.” I...
Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Dear Cinephiles, Anna Scott : “Her most famous part. Men went to bed with the dream; they didn’t like it when they would wake up with the reality. Do you feel that way?” William : “You are lovelier this morning than you have ever been.” I’ve definitely grown...
My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Dear Cinephiles, “Look at her, a prisoner of the gutters, condemned by every syllable she utters. By right she should be taken out and hung for the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue!” One of my favorite moments in cinema can be found in George Cukor’s still...
The Croods

The Croods

Greetings, SBIFF Family! Join us for an exciting adventure this weekend with our Family Fun Film, “The Croods!” Accompany the Croods Family as they go on the journey of a lifetime after their cave is destroyed, and they find themselves exploring a spectacular...
Girls Trip

Girls Trip

Dear Cinephiles, “We haven’t hung in five years. This weekend is about us. We are here together. Today is the last day that we will ever be this young.” In 2018, I hosted a Q&A with the talent for George Tillman Jr.’s “The Hate U Give” at the Riviera Theatre. One...
At Eternity’s Gate

At Eternity’s Gate

Dear Cinephiles, “What I see nobody else sees. It frightens me.” I have always found comfort in the work of great filmmakers, journeying through their vision as it unfolds in front of my eyes. For me, there’s a vicarious aspect to this because I’ve never longed to...
Black Orpheus

Black Orpheus

Dear Cinephiles, “Thousands of years ago, Orpheus was sad and melancholic, like this little bird trapped in its cage. But one day, from the strings of his guitar that sought only one true love, a voice spoke to him of lost kisses from the lips of Eurydice.” “Black...
Rio

Rio

Greetings, SBIFF Family! Join us for this weekend’s Family Fun Film, “Rio” as Blu, a flightless macaw and the last of his kind, discovers there’s another, and that she’s a “she,” leading him on an adventure to the city of Rio....
Flirting with Disaster

Flirting with Disaster

Dear Cinephiles, Mel: “You got a lot of nerve. You come in here, you lick my wife’s armpit. You know… I’m going to have that image in my head for the rest of my life with your tongue in there.” Yes, there’s a famous armpit licking scene in David O....
Breathless

Breathless

Dear Cinephiles, Patricia: “Listen. The last sentence is beautiful. ‘Between grief and nothing, I will take grief.’ Which would you choose?” Michel: “…Grief’s stupid, l’d choose nothing. It’s not better, but grief’s a compromise. l want...
Summertime

Summertime

Dear Cinephiles, “All my life, I’ve stayed at parties too long because I didn’t know when to go.” In David Lean’s “Summertime” (1955), there’s a moment that captures for those who’ve been there, and for those who haven’t yet experienced it, the exhilaration of the...
Risky Business

Risky Business

Dear Cinephiles, “My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment. I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?” Paul Brickman’s “Risky Business” (1983) plays as well today as it did the first time I saw it. Even better. When it...
The Stunt Man

The Stunt Man

Dear Cinephiles, “You must have heard surely of movie magic. You should be a stunt man, who is an actor, who is a character in a movie, who is an enemy soldier. Who’ll look for you amongst all those? People like to believe in things, and policemen are just...

book

A gorgeous coffee table showpiece, our book CINEMA IN FLUX was created as a fundraiser for SBIFF,a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization. On March 16, 2020, we were told we were going into lockdown. That first day, reeling, disbelieving, I quickly...
Invisible Valley

Invisible Valley

Dear Cinephiles, “I’m always struck by the bent figures in the valley.” The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival is here. The idea of cancelling never crossed my mind. Delaying until today (our dates are usually late January) gave us a chance to succeed with...
Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso

Dear Cinephiles, “This is no job for you. You’re always by yourself. You see a film 100 times. You’ve nothing else to do. You talk to Greta Garbo and Tyrone Power like an idiot. You work like a dog. Even holidays, Easter, Christmas.” Alfredo, the...
The Father

The Father

Dear Cinephiles, Anthony: “You’re abandoning me. What’s going to become of me?” Seeing the spellbinding and heartbreaking “The Father” (2020), which just received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, reminded me of a well-known film by Stanley Kubrick. In...

vote

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2021 SBIFF Audience Choice Award, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Independent, is Jeff Harasimowicz’s ALASKAN NETS Statement from Jeff Harasimowicz (ALASKAN NETS) To say we are thrilled to win the audience choice award would...
Marty

Marty

Dear Cinephiles, “I cry a lot too. I’m a big crier…I cry all the time. Any little thing. All my brothers, my brothers-in-law – they’re – they’re always telling me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don’t get to be good-hearted...
Over The Moon

Over The Moon

Greetings, SBIFF Family! “Every moment we have is a chance at something new.” – Gobi In this weekend’s Family Fun Film, “Over the Moon,” watch as Fei Fei begins her quest to fly herself to the moon find the legendary moon goddess, Chang’e. Check out the activity guide...
The Dig

The Dig

Dear Cinephiles, Mrs. Pretty: “We die, and we decay and we don’t live on.” Basil: “We’re part of something continuous, so we don’t really die.” We’re in Sutton Hoo, Suffolk County in 1939, and what we’re about to see is based on a true story. Basil Brown (Ralph...
My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher

Dear Cinephiles, “A lot of people say that an octopus is like an alien. But the strange thing is, as you get closer to them, you realize we’re very similar in a lot of ways.” When the Oscar nominations were announced for Best Documentary, “My Octopus Teacher” (2020)...
Pieces of a Woman

Pieces of a Woman

Dear Cinephiles, “There are certain questions I can’t answer.” I tell my students to look out for figurative comparisons that help the filmmaker navigate deeper themes and ideas. Once uncovered, these ‘visual aids” help the viewer arrive at a greater appreciation of...
His House

His House

Dear Cinephiles, “You will be sent to a home of our choosing.” Although it came out in October, I had not gotten around to writing about “His House” (2020). Two weeks ago, when the British Academy of Film Television and Arts (BAFTA) announced its influential list of...